A while back we started testing rangefinders for this review series, and as an avid archery hunter I wanted to do a detailed Leupold Full Draw 4 review to see if this new “Flightpath Technology” from Leupold was all it’s cracked up to be or just another gimmick. Leupold Optics has long been known to bring fantastic rangefinders to the market, and this new Leupold RX Full Draw 4 is their latest archery rangefinder.
Want to see how the Leupold RX-Full Draw 4 stacked up against several others that we tested? Check out our “Best Rangefinder for Hunting” review!
Check out Our Video Review of These 5 Rangefinders!
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: The Testing
As we typically do here at Backwoods Pursuit, we field tested the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder over the course of a year to help us find out if this is the best rangefinder for bow hunting. I used the Leupold Full Draw 4 during the summer at 3D shoots as well as all throughout my archery season. This gave me a great feel for how this rangefinder operates, its strength, weaknesses and areas in need of improvement.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review – Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting?
If you are looking for the best rangefinder for bow hunting, the Leupold RX-Full Draw 4 is absolutely one to consider. As an archery hunter, one of the challenges can be knowing if you will have arrow clearance in your shooting lane, and that’s why Leupold created the new “Flightpath” technology. We’ll go into more detail below on how it works, but I was unsure about its usefulness and reliability when I saw it even though I liked the concept of the Leupold Flightpath Technology.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: The Specs
What makes the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder earn its place in the search for the best rangefinder for bow hunting? The short answer is all that it offers. Here are some of the specs and features of the Leupold Full Draw 4:
- 7.4 oz
- Crystal clear display
- Super fast ranging speed
- 6x magnification
- Archer’s Advantage Software (angle range compensation)
- NEW Arrow Flightpath Technology
- Scan mode
- 3 reticle options
- 1200 yard max range
With this set of features, the Leupold Full Draw 4 may just be the best rangefinder for bow hunting, because it gives you exactly what the bow hunter wants and needs: a crystal clear display, quick and accurate ranging speeds, compact and lightweight design with a scan mode and angle range compensation, and Leupold’s new Flightpath Technology. This thing is packed with features that are a bow hunter’s dream.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: The Buttons
The Leupold Full Draw 4 features a single button on top that activates the rangefinder, with the mode button on the side where you can switch modes, reticles, display brightness, and enter the data you need to input the Flightpath data points and more. The location of the mode button ensures that you don’t accidentally press it instead of the “range” button. Some we’ve tested have the mode button on top next to the “range” button, which makes pressing the wrong button easier. Like most rangefinders out there, one press of the “power” button, activates the Full Draw 4, then you are ready to range. Hold the button down for lightening fast scanning.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: The Optics
The optical clarity you get with the Leupold Full Draw 4 is absolutely top notch. If you read our “Best Rangefnder for Hunting” review, you may remember that the Leupold Full Draw 4 was right there with the best optical performance of the group. That’s no surprise coming from Leupold Optics.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Reticle
The Leupold Full Draw 4 gives you a nice red reticle that is easy to read in all lighting conditions. I prefer a red reticle for my rangefinder as I’ve found it to be far superior, particularly in low light conditions. The only complaint I have about the Leupold Full Draw 4 reticle is that it’s not an adaptive display. I found that if I set the brightness to be perfect for early morning, I couldn’t see the reticle very well in the midday, and if I set the reticle to where I could see well in midday, it would blind me in the mornings/evenings.
To remedy this, I used the medium brightness setting which worked pretty well, but it was still a touch on the bright side in the mornings, and a touch on the dim side in the afternoons. An adaptive display would solve this problem and make this as close to a perfect rangefinder as I’ve ever tried.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Display Options/Setup
As with most rangefinders these days, you get the option to set up the Full Draw 4 in yards or meters, adjust the display brightness, have line of sight or angel range compensation (TRIG: angle compensation without your bow’s ballistic data or Ballistic: incorporates Leupold’s Flightpath Technology) for the range number displayed. You also get 3 different reticle options and only one range number, which is super cool. These options pretty much cover you for every situation as an archer. Oddly though, the Full Draw 4 doesn’t have target or brush modes.
Leupold full Draw 4 Flightpath Technology
So what exactly is the new Leupold Flightpath software? If you’ve archery hunted very long, you’ve probably experienced, or at least heard of, someone having an arrow deflect on a shot that they thought they had a clear lane. The Leupold Flightpath software allows you to put in few pieces of data from your bow (arrow weight, peep height, and arrow speed) and it spits out a line showing the peak height of your arrow flight at the yardage you ranged so you can see if that branch might deflect your arrow.
I found myself using it ALL OF THE TIME when setting up to make sure I had a nice clear lane. I was surprised how many times I thought I’d be just fine, but the Flightpath line told me otherwise.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Ranging Speed
The new Leupold Full Draw 4 is super fast, scans extremely well, and from all of my testing and use, was very accurate. Even at the outer edges of its ranging ability, it maintained the lightening fast ranging speed.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Focus Nob
One area I thought could be better on the Full Draw 4 was the focus nob. While not a big deal, having to turn the whole eye piece to focus the display picture was a little cumbersome and odd. It never moved on me after I got it set, so I’m more than happy to put up with the slight inconvenience.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: In-Hand Feel
The Leupold RX Full Draw 4 probably has the best in-hand feeling of all of the rangefinders I’ve tested so far. The rubber armor allows you to grip it without any slipping around, the size is perfect, and the button is perfectly located. It feels extremely well-built, and it just feels awesome in your hand.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review – What I Liked
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Size and Weight
While the RX Full Draw 4 isn’t the smallest or lightest of the rangefinders we tested in our big rangefinder review project, it wasn’t far off. Coming in at just 7.4 ounces and just slightly larger than the GPO Rangetracker 1800 (the smallest one we tested), it was the perfect size. It’s not so small it is hard to handle but not too bulky either. The rubber armor is fantastic as well, as the Full Draw 4 never slipped in my hand during use.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Display
The clarity of the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder is right up there with the best we tested in this search for the best rangefinder for bow hunting. While amazing optics aren’t the most important thing in a rangefinder, it sure is nice. The Full Draw 4 simply gives you top-of-the-line clarity, color contrast, and low light performance. I also love the red display Leupold put in the RX Full Draw 4. I found the red display to be easier to read in low light than others with a black display.
I love how clean and clutter-free the display on the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder is. You get one number (you can choose angle range compensation or line-of-sight), the ballistic angle (if you have the angle compensation on), the arrow clearance line, and the battery life. It is simple and easy to read.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Flight Path Technology
The brand new Flight Path Technology from Leupold is something I wasn’t sure about when I heard of it, but after using it for a full season while out archery hunting, I can say it is an extremely useful feature. I found myself constantly checking my shooting lanes for arrow flight clearance to make sure I had a solid setup. I absolutely LOVE this new technology. It’s easy to read and just might save your arrow from deflecting, making you miss a shot. This is one of the features that makes it the best rangefinder for bow hunting.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: What I didn’t Like
While there are so many things that brought the Leupold Full Draw 4 into the best rangefinder for hunting category, there are a few things that I wasn’t a huge fan of.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Non-Adaptive Display
If there was just one change I’d make to the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder, it would be to add in an adaptive display. I love EVERYTHING else about this rangefinder, but I also HATE having to change the display brightness on my rangefinder out in the field. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. Add in an adaptive display, and this would be the best rangefinder for bow hunting that I’ve tested so far, and it would even be in the ranks for the overall best rangefinder for hunting, as long as you don’t need ballistics integration.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: No Eye Relief Adjustment
It would be nice if the Leupold Full Draw 4 had some eye relief adjustment, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker for me. Personally, it isn’t a feature I need on a rangefinder.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: No Target & Brush Modes
Oddly enough, the Leupold Full Draw 4 doesn’t have bush or target modes. I found this odd as most rangefinders these days seem have this feature so you can use whichever mode seems to work best for your situation. To be honest though, it’s a feature I rarely use myself even when my rangefinder has it, so it didn’t break my heart.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Price Point
Really the only other thing I am not a fan of on the Leupold Full Draw 4 is the price point. I totally understand that this thing gives you the Flight Path Technology that you can’t get anywhere else, but the price it a little on the high side. Although you’ll be spending a little more, you definitely get an incredible rangefinder in the Full Draw 4, especially if you want a best rangefinder for bow hunting.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Rankings
Ease of Use
Leupold RX Full Draw 4 Overall Ranking
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